Docksteader's hat trick helps DII Flames maul Marauders, 8-4
September 21, 2013 | Lynchburg, Va.
Being in the right place at the right time is critical in hockey, as in most sports.
Liberty University's ACHA Division II men demonstrated that obvious truth on a few occasions in Saturday afternoon's 8-4 victory over Millersville (Pa.) at the LaHaye Ice Center.
Midway through the second period, sophomore forward Jeff Boschman was released from the penalty box at the exact moment the puck was cleared from Liberty's defensive end, hitting him in stride and giving him a one-on-one breakaway with Millersville goalie Dustin Jagiela. Boschman finished the opportunity by pocketing a backhanded shot into the upper-left corner of the cage, extending the Flames' advantage to 5-1.
Late in the third period, freshman forward Ben Freymond finished serving his penalty just in time to make a steal between the top of the circles and lift a left-handed wrist shot off the crossbar and into the back netting.
One night after freshman forward Devon Docksteader recorded his first hat trick in a 10-1 triumph over visiting Elon, older brother Brad Docksteader, Liberty's leading scorer last year, completed one of his own. He deflected a shot by freshman defender Ryan Sidun off Jagiela's glove and into the cage for the Flames' final score with 2:30 left in the third period.
"It was very exciting, seeing Devon get one as a freshman last night," said Docksteader, the second of four brothers from Ottawa, Canada, who have played at all three levels of hockey for the Flames. "Hopefully, we'll be able to develop some new leaders for the future."
"The line with (Paul) Ingles, the Docksteaders, and Jordan Barstead, has really played well together," Liberty head coach Chris Lowes added. "I'm really happy with the chemistry of that line and the things they've been able to do on the offensive side."
On the first day of fall, the Flames weren't quite as crisp or intense as they had been the night before at LaHaye, in a 10-1 triumph over Elon on the last day of summer. They only held a 59-36 shot advantage.
"It was a better team," Lowes said. "Last night, we killed three five-on-threes. Tonight, we were not as fortunate."
But they were never really threatened by the Marauders (0-4), who had only lost to Virginia Tech by a 2-0 count on Friday night in Roanoke.
"Our main focus is making sure we're playing smart and playing with speed and intensity," Lowes said.
Liberty struck first with 13:20 remaining in the opening period when senior forward Bobby Cervone cut into the left crease in perfect position to quickly put away a short crossing pass from Johnny Cotton top shelf.
Moments after killing a five-on-three power play, Liberty allowed Millersville to pull within 5-2 on an even-strength goal by Tom Kelly assisted by Rob Weinberger from behind the goal. But the Flames responded 35 seconds later when Brad Docksteader maneuvered the puck in the left circle and snuck a half-speed shot through the five-hole from short range to put the game back out of reach with 13:25 to go.
Docksteader is looking forward to hosting the Southeast Regional Tournament at LaHaye for the first time in late February.
"Hopefully, with home-ice advantage and some fans out here, this will be the year we're able to get to nationals ," he said.
The Flames return to LaHaye next Friday and Saturday for ACHA contests against Christopher Newport and Bowling Green.